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Dean Keates: Walsall must start well

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall boss Dean Keates has warned his players they are going to have to hit the ground running after they were pitted against Plymouth on the opening day.

Dean Keates

Derek Adams’ side head to the Banks’s Stadium on August 4 in a month that also sees the Saddlers face Scunthorpe, Gillingham, Wimbledon and Rochdale.

The Pilgrims proved a surprise package in League One last year and narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs.

And Keates says they’ll be keen to build on that momentum.

“We know where we are now and what we’re looking at,” Keates said

“It’s a home game first and we’re looking forward to it.

“It’s always good to be at home on the first day and it’ll be an opportunity for the new recruits to show the fans what they can do in a league game.

“Plymouth finished last season strongly. In the last quarter of the season, they were probably the form team.

“They had an unbelievable run to take them up the table and they just fell a little bit short of the play-offs.

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“They’ll be looking to hit the ground running and not leave themselves short like they did last season. They’ll want to start from day one. That’ll be everyone’s thought process.”

Meanwhile, Keates has confirmed there will be a couple of trialists when Walsall report back for pre-season training next week.

The Saddlers have added Andy Cook, Josh Ginnelly and Chris Dunn to their ranks this summer. But Keates has identified a handful of players he would like to take a look at in training.

And some of those will join up with the rest of the squad at Essington next week.

“There are options there when it comes to players coming in on trial,” Keates added. “There are one or two coming in who we want to have a look at. That is always a possibility for us.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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